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T500FC, 404th: Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963)

March.30.2011

The subject matter of psychological imbalance is always a good subject for films. Much more if you have a group of mentally unstable people clamped in a small facility that is managed by individuals that might also lose it in case the will power is low like Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys. Shock Corridor proves one thing that the crazy world will remain crazy and despite it being fun as a movie, you’d still feel the darkness behind one’s frail mind.

Shock Corridor gives us a story of a male journalist who wants to investigate about a death of a person. That person was killed by someone inside a mental facility and he acts out, and blends in with the other crazies, as if he was one of them, his case was having an offensive sexual act with a sister. It was okay all along until his mind follows the bandwagon hoping that he would solve the case in the end.

Old films such as this remind us that mental problems exist per decade, in which it depends per generation. Every psychologically related film, such as Milos Forman’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest or James Mangold’s Girl, Interrupted, provides us with wonderful explanations of the human mind. And this one is definitely an important part of world cinema since it clearly defines a flow of a simple investigation. And it becomes more interesting when they’ve included the idea that that person should find the answer inside a mental institution.

I remember when the first Ace Ventura ventured into such same style, it might be a little bit exaggerated but it proves that scenes like these would give us the sore fun. Thank God it is not as heartbreaking as it looks since Shock Corridor dwells on the investigation and not just with the depression of the patients.

This film is a definite watch if you are fond of old films that tackle crime and investigation. I know the film can be shortened but it still wallop what was needed and even it the film is not the usual black and white feel good film, it still bestow a mellowed down suspense, best for people who watches films before they go to sleep.

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